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  The view that although the physical environment does not uniquely determine human actions, it does nevertheless make some responses more likely than others. The term was proposed for the terrain midway between a stark environmental determinism and a radical possibilism: human action was represented as \'not so much a matter of an all-or-nothing choice or compulsion, but a balance of probabilities\' (Spate, 1957). This view was in fact perfectly compatible with the original Vidalian conception (see Lukermann, 1964), but in any event it was not long before geographers sought \'to use the probability calculus as well as rely on its philosophical connotations\', and probability theory came to be regarded as an essential component of geographical analysis since it provided \'a common mode of discourse\' for \'scientific study of the landscape\' (Curry, in House, 1966). (DG)

References House, J.W., ed., 1966: Northern geographical essays in honour of G.H.J. Daysh. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Department of Geography. Lukerman, F. 1964: Geography as a formal intellectual discipline and the way in which it contributes to human knowledge. Canadian Geography 8: 167-72. Spate, O.H.K. 1957: How determined is possibilism? Geographical Studies 4: 3-12.

Suggested Reading Spate (1957).



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